Put on Spiritual Clothes
- Thursday, March 22, 2012
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Kelly Minter's book, The Fitting Room: Putting on the Character of Christ, (David C. Cook, 2011).
Whenever your decisions are guided by selfishness rather than love for Christ, it’s as if you’re walking around in ugly clothes and not even realizing how distasteful you seem to other people. But when you take off selfish attitudes and put on Christian virtues, others can see incredible beauty when they encounter you.
Here’s how you can put on spiritual clothes that reflect Christ’s character:
Recognize that God has chosen you to wear these clothes. God has chosen you to go on this spiritual journey of developing Christ’s character. You don’t need to be overwhelmed at the thought of how much you need to grow as a person to develop holy virtues to wear, because God knows exactly what kind of help you need, and He will empower you every step of the way.
Invite God to fit you for these clothes. Fitting into spiritual clothes doesn’t happen just by trying to manage your behavior; it becomes possible when you invite God to transform you from the inside out, making you holy. When you cooperate with God’s work in your life to change your soul for the better, you’ll naturally be able to fit into the spiritual clothes that He wants you to wear.
Discover the secret to wearing these clothes well. Fill your mind with thoughts about the reality of God’s deep, unconditional love for you. The knowledge of God’s love is the secret to wearing spiritual clothes well, because it gives you the confidence and freedom you need to develop Christian virtues. Rather than being afraid of failing in your own efforts to modify your behavior, you’re free to enjoy the process of God working in your life, trusting that His work won’t fail.
Take off your old clothes. Take a hard look at yourself in a spiritual mirror to notice what kinds of clothes you’re currently wearing that God doesn’t want you to wear. Ask family members and friends who know you well to be honest with you about ways God may want you to change your character. Strip off ugly garments such as pride, anger, bitterness, lust, greed, lying, worry, and impatience by confessing them and repenting of them in prayer to God.
Put on forgiveness. Accept the forgiveness that God offers you when you repent, and let your gratitude for His forgiveness motivate you obey His command to forgive other people who have hurt you. Keep in mind that, even when you don’t feel like forgiving someone, you can always make the choice to start the forgiveness process despite your feelings, and then rely on God’s help to forgive every step of the way. Accepting God’s forgiveness for your own sins that you’ve repented of will free you from guilt and shame, and forgiving others who have sinned against you will clear the poison of bitterness out of your soul – which all will make it possible for you to grow closer to God.
Put on peace. Start by making sure that you’ve begun a relationship with Christ as your Lord and Savior, placing all of your trust in Him. You can experience peace only when you’re in right relationship with God through Christ – one that’s unbroken by sin, because Christ has paid the price of sin for you. Whenever the stress of life in this fallen world disrupts your sense of peace, pray for peace, and Christ will faithfully give you a fresh dose of the peace that only He can give. Since God Himself is your peace, ask the Holy Spirit to make you aware of His constant presence with you, and let that awareness give you peace strong enough to overcome any stressful feelings you go through. Do your best to faithfully live the way God calls you to live in every part of your life, since faithful choices naturally lead to life that’s free of unnecessary stress.
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